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Showing posts from July 22, 2020

On Solving The Right Problems

As a student of engineering you’re incentivized to write a lot and to read a lot. You’re expected to solve many well understood, discreet, simple problems, on paper, on sunny afternoons in late May and early June. This kind of learning has its place – it encourages discipline of thought and allows you to develop certain important muscles that will be useful for later – but to be successful as a  product engineer , you’ll also need to master a bunch of different skills. In product engineering, you’re incentivised to deliver results and this means quickly shipping solutions to problems that are difficult to identify and hard to frame. You’ll need to trade off progress over perfection, speed over safety, and all of this introduces a lot of uncertainty. There are things you don’t want to break. I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds like ‘move fast and break things’, right?” Nah! I’m not convinced Mark Zuckerberg has everyone’s best interests at heart, and you’d do well not to listen to

The missing guide to Engineering Processes

Process is important for any startup. But process is a means to an end. It’s never the end product. I see lots of talented people get bogged down “running a process” and struggling to prioritize and drive what’s really important for their teams. They often lose sight of what really matters, which is Delivering Great Things, As Fast As Is Humanly Possible™. As managers we put processes and mechanisms in place to enable our teams to do well. But processes alone won’t guarantee success. And too much of it, or too much tweaking of it, can make it hard to remain focused on what really matters. Great people, with great attitudes, working hard, with urgency and pride in their hearts, guided by “just enough” process will deliver great results. Time is precious – spend it where it matters Life is short and opportunities are fleeting. Companies go bust, great teams break up, economic forces change, your own personal circumstances change. Seriously, time is short, don’t waste it on unnecessary pr